Our tiny hero: Granger Smiths son saves two lives with organ donation

The death of Granger Smith’s three-year-old son River was one of the most tragic news stories of the year. Losing a child is every parent’s worst nightmare. We can’t even begin to imagine the pain both Granger and his wife Amber are experiencing.

The parents have managed to find some light in this dark time. They recently revealed that their little boy has saved two lives by donating his organs.

Amber took to Instagram to share the touching news with her followers. The mum explained that being an organ donor has always been extremely important for her, but she never thought she’d have to make that decision for her baby.


A post shared by Amber Smith (@amberemilysmith) on

“When three different neuro specialists told us that River had zero percent chance of brain recovery after shock and reality set in, I thought, how can we bury our sweet baby and not try to help others? 

“His body is perfect, his organs are perfect, we had to do something. There are so many people waiting for an organ to save their lives. The doctors said donation was quite a process. We would have to search for viable recipients and it could take days. 

She continued, “We knew River’s spirit was in Heaven, but we couldn’t bear to watch his tiny, earthly body be pumped full of all the medicines for three or more days while they searched. 


A post shared by Amber Smith (@amberemilysmith) on

“They tried to expedite the process so our family could be in peace, told us they would take him back to operate the next morning, but we wouldn’t know what organs could be used until after. With such a small body, organs had to be measured physically, not just by X-ray,” Amber explained.


A post shared by Granger Smith (@grangersmith) on

“I spent the night laying in bed with him, crying and talking to him while they kept running tests and taking blood. The next morning family and staff lined the hall for the “walk of honor”. We told them River liked to go fast, so to honor him, they pushed him down that hall faster than they had ever pushed anyone. Granger and I held each other and cried,” the mum shared.


A post shared by Granger Smith (@grangersmith) on

Amber revealed the moment they got the letter to say how many lives their son saved, “We got the letter that our tiny, red-headed hero gave life to two adults. A 49-year-old woman and a 53-year-old man. I cried when we opened it. 

“Cried out of sadness & cried out of love. I’m so proud to be River’s mama and I’m so grateful to God that he gave him to us for those incredible three years. I pray these two recipients live healthy, joy filled, full throttle lives just like Riv. It was one of the hardest, yet easiest, decisions we’ve ever made. There are over 113,000 people waiting for transplants & 20 people die each day waiting. Go to OrganDonor.gov to see how you can help give life as well.”




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